Migratory Birds and Wind Turbines DO NOT Mix

While I am not necessarily opposed to wind turbines, I do believe the wool has been pulled over our eyes concerning its environmental impact. Its not the nice, innocent green energy we all think it is. Is it better than many other forms of energy? You betcha. Is it worth pursuing? Yep. Do I think it has real potential if executed properly? For sure. But its not perfect. Here’s an example. Camp Perry in northern Ohio has proposed building a wind turbine in an effort for greener energy. I applaud their efforts in trying to be environmentally friendly, however, the proposed wind turbine is NOT environmentally friendly. Why? Because it would sit in an area of vital importance for migrating bird species. Every spring thousands and thousands of migrating birds come through the area, stop over for rest and refreshment, and head on north to their breeding grounds. A wind turbine is sure to kill many of these birds who are already struggling to survive from loss of habitat. They do not need any more resistance. Click HERE for a link to Kenn and Kimberly Kaufmann’s blog with info on how you can help. Here’s what I wrote to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources…

To whom it may concern,

The Environmental Assessment for the Camp Perry wind turbine project is, to say the least, inadequate. My two main points of contention concern waterfowl and migratory bird species.
Ohio’s Coastal Management Program requires that native species and those threatened with extinction are to be protected, and the wind turbine directly threatens native species and those threatened with extinction. For example, the Environmental Assessment states that migratory species will not be affected because they typically migrate at altitudes greater than the wind turbine will be (see page 8 and 61 of the EA). While it is true that migratory birds migrate at higher altitudes, the assessment fails to take into account the fact that this area is a migratory bird STOPOVER habitat, meaning the birds land to feed and rest before continuing on. Therefore, the migratory birds will be flying at lower altitudes including flying at the heights of the proposed wind turbine. The failure of the Environmental Assessment to take this into account is a gross oversight and clearly shows its insufficiency and bias.
Concerning waterfowl, the waterfowl survey referenced on page 60 was conducted on October 4, 2011. Any research into the matter would have shown that this is not the peak time for waterfowl in the area. This is another example of gross oversight and further evidence of insufficiency and bias.
The failure of the Environmental Assessment to take these two concerns into account (among others) clearly shows a biased and inadequate research effort. The proposed area for the wind turbine is of the utmost importance to Ohio’s native and migratory wildlife. The consequences of a wind turbine could be staggering, and at the least extremely detrimental to native and migratory wildlife populations. Please, do not allow the construction of a wind turbine at Camp Perry.

A Very Long Night

What’s worse than a Redlegs loss? Not sleeping after a Redlegs loss. Here’s the timeline…

10:20 pm… Reds lose.

11:10 pm… Occupants of house go to bed after a consoling bowl of ice cream.

3:31 am… Carbon Monoxide detector goes off, rudely awaking residents.

3:35 am… Residents rise out of bed, check out detector, all seems ok.

3:35 am… Residents return to bed.

3:56 am… Carbon Monoxide detector goes off again, rudely awaking wife, as husband was already awake in anticipation.

4:00 am… Wife proceeds to look on internet for help concerning said Carbon Monoxide detector.

4:14 am… Cover taken off Carbon Monoxide detector triggering the incredibly loud, as in wake-up-the-neighborhood
loud, house alarm system. Alarm system cannot be reset. Wife has to stand in front of alarm panel, pushing a button every 60 seconds to silence incredibly loud, as in wake-up-the-neighborhood loud, alarm system.

4:21 am… Residents call the alarm system company who are of no help at all. Number to installation company received, only to be realized minutes later that the number received was the same number to the alarm system company.

4:23 am… Residents call the alarm system company back, talk to a different person who sympathizes with residents (unlike the first —–) who proceeds to help residents reset alarm system.

4:25 am… Alarm system problem solved.

4:45 am… Carbon Monoxide detector goes off again.

4:45 am… Wife decides to sleep on the porch.

4:48 am… Wife returns from the porch in fear of a raccoons.

4:55 am… Tent is set up outside, sleeping bags and pillows installed by residents.

5:00 am… Residents receive blissful sleep under that stars.

7:29 am… Residents return to house to get ready for work.

8:01 am… Residents learn it was not a Carbon Monoxide detector at all and only a smoke detector gone bad.

9:29 am… Husband goes to Target to purchase new smoke detectors.

It’s Spring!

Richardson Forest Preserve
Richardson Forest Preserve

Lauren and I went hiking at Richardson Forest Preserve to see the Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). Richardson is one of the very few places it grows in Hamilton county because of its preference for wetlands and bogs.

Skunk Cabbage
Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage gets its name from the rather unpleasant smell its emits. The smell attracts various insects as pollinators. Some argue it also keeps animals at a distance to prevent being eaten. But it is not enough to keep us away from enjoying its beauty. It is definitely a unique plant, and well worth a visit.

It was a beautiful day to go hiking. Many other wildflowers are up including various triliums (Trillium spp.), Cut-leaved Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), and Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum).

Lauren

I’ve heard Spring Peepers peeping, seen Cabbage Whites fluttering, and heard Eastern Phoebes calling. It’s spring, even though the calendar says winter (at least until tomorrow). So get out, enjoy the sunshine, and see what nature has to offer you!

It’s Been Awhile…

My last post was in December 2010; a little over a year ago. So I doubt anyone will be reading this. But that’s okay. Here I go anyways.

Let’s see, what’s happened in the last year? Well, for starters I got married. I guess that’s kind of a big deal.

Engaged
On the way to Abram’s Falls

And we went on our honeymoon to the Mediterranean.

Split Croatia
Split, Croatia

So that’s the last year in a nutshell; a very small nutshell. Honestly, this post serves no other reason than to get the ball rolling again. After returning from Nepal, my blog lost its purpose (as have most blogs on the internet). I struggled to find a new purpose, and in doing so, I dropped it altogether. So here’s to a new run and revitalization.

Winter Birding

My quest to find all the winter birds in the Cincinnati area took me to Miami Whitewater Forest yesterday in search of the Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus). We found them, but only as we were just about to give up. Someone on Cincinnati Birds reported them at the High Plains area of the park, so that is where we began our search. After awhile of aimlessly hiking around, we were heading out of the area when we heard the Pine Siskin call. Reminiscent of the Goldfinch, we knew we were on their trail. Three or four of them were situated in a Sweetgum tree, skillfully pulling up the gumballs with their feet to get at the seeds. After 15 minutes a dozen more flew into the tree to join them. They were amazingly calm and allowed me to get fairly close to get some pics. Needless to say, they are beautiful birds:

Pink Siskin II

Pine Siskin I

Not to be outdone, however, a Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) decided he wanted his time in the limelight. He perched himself not five feet from us and stayed just long enough for me to grab some pics. Here’s one of them:

Tufted Titmouse

Along the way we also saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown Creeper, Sandhill Crane, Northern Harrier, and a Bald Eagle, and other usual suspects. Not a bad day for birding!

Life List

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Northern Oriole

So I decided it was high time to update my life list today. Life list, you ask? Yes, life list. A list of all the bird species I have seen in my life. I’m up to 161 species so far, and I have a long way to go. Not sure where the “to go” part actually goes, but you get the idea.

Northern Parula
Northern Parula

Through inspiration from my friend Matt and his quest for the Biggest Year, I have decided to do a Biggest Winter. In birding, a Biggest Year is when a birder tries to find as many species as they can in the course of one year. Matt is out to find all known (716) species found in North America. It’s a big goal, but it’s an honorable one, and one of which I am jealous. He will travel the US, parts of Canada, and hopefully Alaska to find them all. In my Biggest Winter, I’m out to find all the birds that overwinter around Cincinnati. It’s only around 34 species (not including the year round species), but some of them may be a challenge. It’s a much smaller goal than Matt’s goal, but it’s something to tide me over until next year’s migration. I’m looking forward to it.

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Prothonotary Warbler

The Dan

This is my friend Dan. I’m proud to call Dan my friend because, well, he is quite a unique character. Over the weekend, I helped him shoot his Survivor Casting Call video. You can find it HERE.

The Dan

For part of the video, Dan pulled his car with his hair. No joke. Check it out…

Man Pulls Car with Hair from Dan Thoms on Vimeo.

J and O

I got to watch my niece and nephew tonight. As you can see below, we had a lot of fun…

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Davos

Shawn in Bangladesh

My friend Shawn, who I visited in Bangladesh, is trying to get to Davos. We can help him get there by voting for him on Youtube. HERE is a link to his page with instructions on how to vote. Its quick. Its easy.

This would mean an opportunity for Shawn to meet with world leaders to discuss the issue of world poverty, and it would be a huge benefit for him to continue his work in Bangladesh; work the good of which I have seen and experienced first hand.

Photo Hike 12/28

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